June 20, 2010

Two Years

It is hard to believe that I have been in the Army for two years. Where has the time gone? Well, three months at CH-BOLC, one month at Fort Hood, one month at the National Training Center (NTC), three and a half months back at Fort Hood, eleven and a half months in Iraq, and five months back at Fort Hood. One of the things that I have learned is that Army life is different.

In the church world I kind of knew what to expect and what was right around the corner. In the Army that is not the case. You have to be so fluid in the Army and ready to change course in an instant. Something that was certain just a moment ago is not so certain now. It is good to remember that even when plans shift, God is in control.

As I think about the past two years, I am reminded of how different Memorial Day was for me this last month . Memorial Day normally is a day in which we "say" that we remember those who have given their lives for our freedoms. We normally top off our remembrance with some kind of cook out or some other form of hanging out with the family. This Memorial Day was different because I was remember two of my own soldiers who gave their lives for our country. On August 23, 2009 our unit lost LT Joseph Fortin and on January 5, 2010 our unit lost SGT David Croft. Now, I truly have someone to remember. On Memorial Day not only did I remember these brave soldiers, I remembered their families.

Being in the Army has given me a greater appreciation and grasp on honoring and remembering those who fight for our freedoms when their country calls upon them. I am honored and blessed to serve with men and women who put their lives on the line for their fellow Americans.

As I now reflect on two years of ministry to our service members, I would not change a thing. There are difficult days for different reasons, but those difficult days are worth enduring. I often miss church life and the people at Menokin, but I love that I have the opportunity to provide encouragement and help when a soldier needs it. What a great honor.

I would like to thank all of you who have prayed for me and my family as we have been on this great God Adventure. Please pray for our soldiers and their families!! They pay a price that ninety-nine percent of the American people will never understand.

God Bless America and the American Soldier!!

June 12, 2010

Catching Up

I have been back from Iraq for about four and a half months. I cannot believe how quickly time has passed. Laura, Victoria and I have really enjoyed spending as much time together as possible.

Laura and Victoria have been really busy finishing out the school year. Right now they are focusing on Chemistry and finishing that up. Three more units and she will have completed the book. I do not ever remember finishing a book when I was in school. Do you? Anyway, Victoria is doing such a wonderful job and I am very proud of her. I cannot believe that she will be in 11th grade next year.

I am getting in the groove of things back in the states. I head off for PT bright and early and sometimes do not get back home until after dark. It makes for really long days. I really do hate being right down the road from my family and still not able to see them. My ministry to soldiers continues to grow. Because I have been with the guys through a deployment I have gained their trust, so I have many opportunities to be the presence of God to them. I love these opportunities.

Recently, I submitted my "wish list." The wish list is a document that you fill out telling the Army where you would like to be stationed next. We have asked for Fort Hood again. We feel like we need to stay here if possible. It will mean another deployment at some point but we feel like that is the route we are supposed to take. We will find out some time in June or July if I will get to stay at Fort Hood or if I/we will be headed off somewhere new. We have been praying that God prepares us for our next place, wherever that is.

As some of you may already know, Laura's Dad passed away on May 19. We left TX on May 18 at 0045 and arrived in Dothan around 1500 (for non-military people that is leaving at 12:45 am and arriving at 3:00 pm) We got to see Dad and talk to him and let him know how much we loved and appreciated him. It was during those few hours we had with him that God answered all of Laura's prayers. God is so good. The next morning before we got back to the hospital he went to be with the Lord. We were so glad that we got to see him before he passed. Again, God is so good!!

Well, until next time I pray God's blessings upon you and yours.